Britain’s economic future
The General Election delivered good news for economists. The mantle of 'dismal scientists' has passed to the catastrophically inadequate opinion pollsters, the modern equivalent of fairground palm readers. Pollsters clearly need more accurate tea leaves for future vote predictions. Big data #fail #GE2015.
Pollsters weren’t alone in denial. The ‘loud and the liberal;’ sad, superannuated metropolitans convinced they know best what’s good for the working people they no longer relate to, are currently the ‘deluded and the delusional’ as ‘blamestorming’ has melded with a ‘how dare they?’ anger at a pragmatic electorate endorsing the party closest to delivering economic sanity.
Chief ‘chillaxer’ Cameron eventually channeled campaign passion leaving the economically delusional leftward who Labour Party exposed. Unrepentant Labour heavyweights like Shadow Finance Minister Ed Balls finally paid the price for their roles in the Blair/Brown bust. Meanwhile reality trumped satire as leader Ed Miliband was left holding a rock engraved with vacuously earnest platitudes.
Scotland’s overwhelming nationalist vote further proved how Labour has lost touch with, well, laborers. To neutralize the magic money tree miraculously conjuring up cash, Westminster must devolve fiscal ‘responsibility,’ with a clear zero bailout provision when Scotland’s socialist experiment reaches its inevitable Venezuelan conclusion. This is both economic common sense and a prerequisite for an English electorate which emphatically rejected a Labour-SNP coalition Highland tail wagging the Westminster dog.
Thus Britain just gained a realistic chance of economic redemption...while surpassing stagnant France to become the second largest EU economy. Nevertheless, tough decisions await with actual budget cuts...not largely cosmetic coalition incorrectly hyped as austerity by the trolling true believers in the magic money tree fairytale.
Significant cuts must deliver a taut, responsive, efficient, government service fit for the digital era. Voters will appreciate a National Health Service which avoids occasional acts ominously akin to genocide, like Stafford (where some 1,200 apparently died due to service failings). Iain Duncan Smith’s visionary reforms are rebalancing welfare to help workers move up the prosperity chain, replacing ambition killing benefits traps. Flexible employment delivered 2 million new jobs under the coalition (UK unemployment is 5.6 percent, EU overall 9.8 percent). Low paid workers need more tax cuts to ameliorate stagnant wages which got stuck under Labour 15 years ago. The left wing ‘quangocracy’ must be disassembled while unfit for purpose departments such as Energy/Climate Change are ripe for defenestration (removing lavish wind farm grants from the Green 1 percent makes sense). A handy indirect tax cut? Remove the egregious outmoded £145.50 household poll tax enabling the biased, bloated, BBC leviathan to monopolize the news cycle. Reconsidering the white elephant HS2 rail line project would help too.
Soggily incompetent bureaux such as the fiasco masquerading as the Border Agency must be curtailed to balance the vast budget deficit. Borrowing circa £2 billion ($3 billion) weekly simply has to stop! The annual cost of servicing debt remains around 3 percent despite historic low interest rates. Alas, years of belt tightening to escape the delusional Blair/Brown ‘end of economic cycles’ legacy remain.
EU reform may be achievable, provided the UK remains firm. Losing its second largest economy looks a bigger threat to the EU than the UK. Tory promises to reduce red tape remain essential - removing British bureaucrats’ moronic penchant for gold plating EU standards would be an excellent start.
The poisoned chalice in election victory? Britain’s recent coalition merely reduced growth in spending; they didn’t tame the blob’s expansion. Britain remains on target this year to spend $75 billion more than 2010 when Labour left office.
A new air of optimism to overcome the nagging negatives of defeated, defeatist, opponents is vital. Britain must further embrace creative funding approaches such as Social Impact Bonds, improving society, reducing cost & risk to a government without spending capacity. David Cameron must clearly champion private enterprise - the only engine of lasting economic growth. Encouraging the ongoing British entrepreneurial revolution (a record 6.7 percent increase in new businesses since 2013) to build a startup nation trading freely with the world, is essential to avoid the debt strangulation of Mediterranean Eurozone nations. After all, Greece has a lower deficit than Britain. Albeit that turnaround has been too little, too late. Debt has overwhelmed Athens.
The Conservatives must champion the ground up grassroots small business growth dynamic while avoiding toxic ‘blingsters,’‘banksters’ and gangsters.
With a small but definitive mandate, there is no time to “chillaxe”.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.